NY Times Belatedly Publishes Obits of Sylvia Plath, Charlotte Brontë and Other Women It Ignored at the Time

The Times says the project is meant to correct historical bias in the obituary section which overwhelmingly “chronicled the lives of men”


In time for International Women’s Day, the New York Times has belatedly published a series of obituaries of historical women whose deaths didn’t merit mention in the paper at the time.

Times reporter Amisha Padnani and Jessica Bennett say the purpose was to correct a longstanding historical injustice.

“Since 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries: of heads of state, opera singers, the inventor of Stove Top stuffing and the namer of the Slinky,” they write in an explanation of its Overlooked project. “The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones; even in the last two years, just over one in five of our subjects were female.

Some of the obituaries already added to the collection include authors like Sylvia Plath and Charlotte Brontë, photographer Diane Arbus and journalist Ida B. Wells.

“We’ll be adding to this collection each week, as Overlooked becomes a regular feature in the obituaries section, and expanding our lens beyond women,” write Padnani and Bennett.

Overlooked isn’t the only Women’s History month project raising eyebrows, however. Earlier this week Fox News host Tucker Carlson announced that he would kick off the month with an exploration of “men in America,”

“We hear a lot about female empowerment in this country,” Carlson told his audience Thursday. “But for some reason, you almost never hear about how men are doing in America.”